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Darryl Hosford

Works full-time in the technology industry and loves to garden at home

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  • January 15, 2021
    6:30 AM
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Good morning friends. It's a beautiful morning what a beautiful time of prayer to lead off. This morning I'd like to tell you about a place very far from here in fact it's on the other side of the world but here's a little riddle this place is also in your home. And it might be in your pocket this location affirms our belief in the Bible and it relates to gardening and the 2nd coming of Jesus let's pray Father I think you for this beautiful morning and I pray that your message from the scripture. Can become plain regardless of me as the presenter teach us from your word I pray this morning in Jesus' name. How many if you or have any if you ever traveled to the Holy Land Use your hands quite a few How many of you have had that of those of you who have visited the Holy Land How many of you have visited the Kingdom of Jordan quite as many in 2001000 and I was scouting the Internet for locations to film for the light unshackled series 2 and I came across a fascinating archaeology dig under the direction of Dr Steven Collins is an archaeology professor at Trinity Southwest University located in Albuquerque but he's digging there in the Middle East what caught my eye was that this archaeology professor had claimed that he had found and was excavating the ancient city of Sodom. In the Bible there are clues to the location of Saddam. And I started studying it and I thought you might be on to something. Most of the clues come from the biblical story of Genesis Chapter 13 where Abraham and lot separate company when Abraham and lot separated they were near Bethel and. And from their lot looked toward the valley of Sodom. He chose that valley because it was green and fertile. So Dr Collins said you must be able to stand at Bethel and Ai and see the valley of Sodom that precludes being able to see the area around the southern part of the Dead Sea It's much too far to be able to visualize the Bible says that from where Abraham and lot were located lot travelled East not so and the valley of Sodom is called a fertile disk in the Hebrew it's called the car this is the same word that here in the south we would call the tortilla it means a circular. And it says the car of the Jordan River is where Saddam was located if you look at the map the only place that looks like a circle is that area in the in the delta of the Jordan river just before it enters the that scene so putting these clues together Dr Collins started looking at any significant digs site representing a large city in the area just north of the Dead Sea. I thought that was interesting. Just imagines an archaeologist opening the Bible and asking well where with this ancient city be located it's kind of a refreshing idea especially in this day and time of higher criticism and disbelief in the Bible as anything really representing truth well our fear filming team was headed into Amman Jordan so I looked up how far is that dig from Amman Jordan and it turned out to be only 45 minutes away but you can guess we wanted to visit as we drove toward the dig site and you can look it up yourself it's called Tel el Hamam we came to the rim of the mountains overlooking the Jordan Valley and there we stopped the car and looked down and you could see the entire circle that they're talking about and it was green Any time you see something green in the Middle East you can be surprised if you look today on Google Earth you will see a green pocket right there as the River Jordan is flowing into the sea right on the maps you can see it. Take a look and Google Earth or your Bible. Sometime take a look at the River Jordan as it flows into the sea you'll notice that on one side on the Israeli side is the ancient city of Jericho and if you go exactly opposite to the other side of that this fertile area that is where the Hamam is located and perhaps it's the ancient city of Sodom. When we arrived at the dig site we had to climb up on what looked like a large mountain of boulders and as we got to the top it came to our realisation that this was not a mountain it was a city that had been collapsed. There were parter pottery shards everywhere you could clearly see them some of the handles were visible some parts of the side with Gleeson It was so up bundle and that they had gathered them together and lined to the walkways with these pottery shards the mountain of stones and I'm talking a literal mountain was the walls and the buildings of this massive ancient city it was fascinating to look down into the digging area where they had dug into the rubble of the mountain and you could see the foundations of the buildings we were able to climb down into the excavation area and walked through the palace of the king of that city perhaps the king of Sodom. And we saw a distinct and uniform burn layer of char running through the entire excavated area there is an area of 6 inches to a foot thick of black tar coal and you can see it as they've dug down it's consistent all across the entire excavation area if this was the ancient city of Sodom. You could touch the char that destroyed the city I scooped some of the char into the palm of my hand and as I looked at it I considered the life of lot Dr Collins reports finding jars full of grain and this Charlie or where the jar in the grain contents had been heated to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit I've seen pictures from that jar and you can see distinct wheat berries but they're pure charcoal they're completely black and. And on the outside of these jars that have been heated to incredible temperatures is a glass glossy layer that has formed it actually started to melt the pottery into a new kind of of glass. He's not suggesting it has anything to do with nuclear reactions but the only other place we see this kind of glass is at ground 0 of a nuclear bomb that's the kind of temperature that it takes to have pottery turned into this kind of glass. The buildings of this city all collapsed in one direction and the contents of the room were smashed against the internal walls in that same direction we were able to see this as we visited excite So it's not just a earthquake which is common in the area of the Middle East it's not just an earthquake but something that flattened the entire city in one direction as if there was a cosmic blast that leveled the city and toppled everything. In $1.00 and $1.00 way now I don't claim to know more about Tel Al Hamam than what I saw as a visitor for a few hours but I thought it was fascinating what if it was the city of Sodom. For my devotional this morning I'm a going to talk about the idea of Sodom itself whether I was there or not I can't prove whether that was the actual location Ike I'm not sure but we do know that spiritual side is something we can gain lessons from. First I think it interesting that archaeology has more and more proving the truth of the Bible I believe that we can trust the Bible as God's inspired word. Second I want you to think about the location from the Bible's description of Sodom. The Bible says that it was like the Garden of the Lord. This was a place in Abraham's time there was like the Garden of Eden those are you have your Bible that's open to Genesis Chapter 13 versus 10 through 13. It says verse 10 and lot lifted up his eyes and behold the plane of Jordan that it was well watered everywhere before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah even as the Garden of the Lord like the land of Egypt as you come to 0 our Then lot shows him the plain of Jordan and lot journey of East and separated themselves one from the other Abraham dwelt in the land of Canaan and locked in the cities of the plain pitched his tent toward Sodom but the men of Saddam were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly here we read that Saddam was inhabited by people who are called Wicked and there was a time before the flood that we have a similar description in Genesis chip 6 verse 5 and God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of his thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. My challenge for you this morning is to consider how could a perfect location. A beautiful garden promote such wickedness as the city of Sodom and I think the key here is how we appropriate the blessings from God If we share the abundance and goodness from our gardens with others it can be called the Garden of the Lord and if we have a selfish spirit our gardens could be the garden of wickedness. Easy kill 16 let you look at this yourself again easy kill 16 verse 495049 look this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom she and her daughter had pride fullness of food and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy and they were haughty and committed abomination before me therefore I took them away as I saw fit so here we see lit living in a perfect location the best Frost climate the most ideal soil nutrients with an abundant water supply may not always be the best plan for your family it also is important to ask what cities are around you and what influence your family will be subjected to I did a search on e.g. white writings dot com and found the Sister White references the words. In 2700 paragraphs encourage you to do that search and look through the search results on the 1st page of those results you'll find Adventist home page 139 let it be your study to select and make your homes as far as Sodom and Gomorrah as you can keep out the large keep out of the large cities if possible make your homes in the quiet retirement of the country even if you can never become wealthy by doing so locate where there is the best influence so here we have this dual idea of Saddam. Elements not talking about this place in Jordan. She's talking about the Saddam that can be around us Saddam that we might bring into our own homes so let's just take a moment and review these 3 sins of Sodom pride fullness of bread and idleness 1st pride it's a trait that permeates all human existence but it's not the way of Christ the more successful you are the more you need to consider how to bless others around you we take pride in our things and our belongings it's our natural way to have pride perhaps looking what we have done in the garden and how nice it is that us always remember that it is God that has given the increase how much did the farmer really do to make that plant grow wheat tended it we cared for it but it is God that deserves the credit And what about when we have a bumper crop and an abundance of bread do you want to hoard it or store more than you need for the season or is your 1st impulse to share it with others and bless them and 3rd I've seen idleness as a temptation in my life. And for some I see it's not being slothful but it's where you can work hard and play hard but never have time to serve others we're more interested in our leisure than in helping the poor in the disadvantaged. I find it interesting that the Bible is not glossing over that is testable sexual sins of Saddam but if you were to listen to the if you and I were to list the problems of Saddam some of those might it come in on the list but here the Lord goes to the root and those roots can live in your and my life today. But it was these rooted issues that led to the acceptance of the un-Biblical behavior of Saddam and if you and I continue in these routes pride abundance of bread in idleness We also will be destroyed just like those massive walls of Sodom. First John to verse 16 and 17 for all that is in the world the lust of this flesh the lust of the our eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but as of the world and the world is passing away and the lust of it but he who does the will of God abides forever. We need to do all in our power to reach the lost but in the process not become assimilated into the surrounding popular culture. We need our interactions to be thoughtful purposeful and we need to pray that the Holy Spirit leads us in our interactions. You don't you and I don't have to fly around the other side of the world to visit Sodom. Sadly our media is dripping with the themes of. Today with the Internet t.v. and movies we can pump the sewage of Saddam right into our living rooms or as I mentioned in the beginning of the talk perhaps it's even in our pocket with our devices but even as the story of Saddam even in this story there is hope remember Abraham he lived within eyesight of the valley of Saddam I can just imagine him praying daily for his for love his relatives do you remember the time when Saddam was attacked and the enemy forces carried off the women and children. Abraham with God's help and blessing rescued them and Abraham did not take any of the spoil for himself Abraham was generous and I'm sure the people of Saddam had to scratch their heads about why Abraham a man who lived in a tent was able to attack the conquerors of the massive city of Sodom and when there came a time when probation for Saddam was complete their sins had filled the cup and the Lord cut them off. But even in that fearful time of judgement Angels came by the house of Abraham and discussed this great city with with him and I believe it's because of his prayers that lot was specifically rescued from that wicked city now where was a lot at this time did he have his tents pitched towards Sodom. By the time the angels come Lot was sitting in the gate and his house was inside the city this represents the possible progression that you and I may face. But because of the prayers of Abraham. The Angels went to law he compelled them to come and stay in his house and because of the. Law was rescued. The 2nd Coming is as sure as the destruction of Sodom again Judgement will come and the great cities of the earth will be flattened and it is our privilege to pray for them a week ago I was in visiting in California and a man there in a church that I fellowship in had divided every city and in the world with over 1000000 population. And he took at his goal for 2021. Every day pray for that portion of that list so that throughout the year 2021 every city representing over a 1000000 people he would have prayed for comes out to 10 or 12 a day brothers and sisters we need to have a heart for the lost not to live well with not to live inside Saddam but a heart to pray and intercede for these great cities I challenge you this morning be an Abraham and if you and I are the lot then take this opportunity to fleece Saddam as soon as possible it may be that we have a heart for these great cities of the earth pray for them pray for God's work to advance in them pray for opportunities to minister and pray for the soon coming of Jesus. This morning I'd like to have a a closing prayer and I'm going to leave a moment that you could pray for a city near your home that the Spirit of God may touch it the Spirit of God may save the searching souls that are in that city well your heads with me father gone 1st we want to commit our lives to you this morning I pray that we will determine in hurts to reject the roots of the city of Sodom the you were removed pride from us that you will help us have a heart for others that we won't trust in the abundance of our own supplies that we won't try to store those up for the end that we will truly rely on you. I pray that you will take our idle moments and turn them into spiritual exercises that we become stronger in sharing our faith and study in the Word and in this Father I pray that we could be like Abraham and pray for the great cities around us take this time Lord and I pray that you will answer these prayers thank you thank you when we think of the great cities of this earth we don't even know how to start but we love the individuals there we love your people who are going to be called out before the final destruction and I pray that you will continue to build up people ready to proclaim your soon coming to proclaim and be ready to see you face to face I pray that will be our experience and Jesus give us the determination to take Saddam and remove it from our homes that we make guard what we bring into our minds we ask your protection for our young people maybe realize that no longer is it a matter of how close we live to Saddam but that we could bring it right into our own homes. Give us the hope of Abraham Father. And give us your courage with this morning I pray Jesus. That this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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